Kenya, Nigeria and SA lead fintech growth in Africa, Mastercard report

A report by payment services company Mastercard has revealed that South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are among the most vibrant fintech markets in the continent. The study conducted to evaluate and determine the state of fintechs in the African markets also said that fintechs in Africa grew by 81% in 2021.

The report titled The Future of Fintech: Rapid Growth Attracts Smart Capital, further revealed that fintech startups took up 27% of all the record-breaking deals closed and 61% of the US$2.7 billion pumped into the startup ecosystem in 2021. It’s also the industry where deals went as high as US$100 million each.

Ngozi Megwa, Mastercard’s Senior Vice President of Digital Partnerships in charge of the EEMEA region said, “At Mastercard, we are helping to fuel fintech acceleration by offering access to our expertise, network and technology. We provide a portfolio of technology solutions, APIs, developer tools, partner networks, startup programs and a community experience for every fintech company and payments developer, helping turn their bold ideas into reality.”

Global fintech investments hit a record high of US$131.5 billion in 2021, with 235 unicorns mushrooming within the year. The rise of fintech startups in Africa is attributed to the desire to create solutions addressing various pain points and opening up digital inclusion.

“Buoyed by demand, fintech has seen products based on multi-faceted innovation in emerging and mature economies. Providing scalable financial services using the internet, blockchain, and algorithms, fintech companies have widened the reach of financial services traditionally offered by banks, including loans, payments, investments, or wealth management,” The report noted.

The report singled out the three countries for putting in place infrastructure and policy frameworks that facilitate the growth and development of startups.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to

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